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Updated Home Modification Loans in Washington and Oregon

The Northwest Access Fund Board has recently voted to expand the terms of our home modification loan product in order to better meet the needs of our community. Our home modification loan previously carried the same terms of our general assistive technology loan – a fixed 5% interest rate with no fees; up to a 5-year term; and a maximum loan amount of $25,000. Yet we came to see that this can place home modifications out of reach: for some the 5-year term may be too short to be affordable alongside other necessary expenses, while for others the $25,000 limit may not allow for more extensive home modifications to be completed.

Today, Northwest Access Fund is happy to announce expanded terms that are specific to loans being used to make home modifications:

  • Fixed 5% interest rate, with no fees
  • Up to a 10-year term
  • Up to $35,000, with requests for higher amounts to go through our Board

As with all our loans, there are no income restrictions or minimum credit scores to apply. Modifications include the addition of ramps, lifts, or elevators; walk-in or roll-in showers and other bathroom adaptations; countertop height adjustments; and smart home technology, to name just a few. We can consider requests for any modifications designed to maintain or improve the functional capabilities of a person with a disability or an older adult.

Home modifications have been proven to increase independence and safety, and to support aging-in-place. Yet home modifications can be costly, and the AARP notes that up to 80% of homeowners need to finance home modifications themselves. We hope that our updated loan terms will put vital home modifications within reach for numerous Washingtonians and Oregonians who need to adapt their home to better meet their changing needs.

If you’re interested in learning more, call or email us today. We look forward to hearing from you.

Nominations are open for our Northwest Access Awards!

We are seeking nominations for our Northwest Access Awards! Awards will be given to individuals, businesses, and organizations that have made noteworthy efforts to include, serve, and support people with disabilities in Washington and Oregon this past year. Nominations are due by October 10, 2018.

Awards will be given in the following categories:

  • Innovation Award. Recognizing a business, organization, or individual that has developed one or more products that have improved the quality of life for individuals with a disability.
  • Best Practices Award. Recognizing a business’s efforts to include people with disabilities in various business practices, such as service methods, awareness efforts, customization, or targeted outreach.
  • Harborstone Recreational Engagement Award. Recognizing an individual, organization, or business that has made a significant contribution towards engaging and including people with disabilities in recreational programs (e.g., hiking, swimming, sports, camps, art, crafts), customization of facilities and equipment, and/or targeted outreach.
  • Frances Pennell Economic Opportunity Award. Named in honor of our founding Executive Director Frances Pennell, this award recognizes an individual, organization, or business which provides people with disabilities opportunities, programs, or resources for economic advancement.

To nominate someone online, go to our nomination form here.

To nominate someone by mail or email, download our nomination form.

We can’t wait to here from you!

Join Our Team!

Northwest Access Fund is hiring! We are looking for a new Program Coordinator to run our Individual Development Account (IDA) Program, also known as the Matched Savings Program. This is an entry-level opportunity for which training and support will be provided.

If you’re passionate about serving the needs of the disability community and are excited to learn, we hope to hear from you!

You can find the full job description and information about how to apply here: Program Coordinator Job Announcement.

 

Northwest Access Fund Announces New Executive Director

Seattle, WA, Friday, October 27, 2017– Northwest Access Fund is pleased to announce that Emerson Sekins, MPA has been appointed Executive Director of the organization. Emerson first joined Northwest Access Fund in 2013 and has served in a variety of roles, most recently as Deputy Director.

“I am excited to lead this organization run by and for people with disabilities,” Emerson says. “Now more than ever, individuals and families with disabilities are struggling to make ends meet. Northwest Access Fund provides an affordable way for people to access the technology they need to live, work, and play in their communities.”

Emerson has been a longstanding presence in Seattle’s disability advocacy community and is quickly establishing himself as a national leader in the opportunity finance movement. He has previously served as a co-chair of the City of Seattle’s Commission for People with disAbilities, and in 2015 participated in the Citi Foundation’s Leadership Program for Opportunity Finance, in conjunction with the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. Originally from the Seattle area, Emerson was one of the first to complete the University of Washington’s Disability Studies undergraduate degree. He went on to graduate from University of Washington’s Daniel J. Evans School of Public Policy and Governance with a Master of Public Administration.

Board President, Susan McNaught, Ph.D., stated, “I’m just delighted. I think he’s really going to take the organization in a great direction.” Northwest Access Fund recently expanded its services into Oregon state and Emerson looks forward to continuing to establish the organization within Oregon’s disability community.

Outgoing director Jack Brummel is retiring after four years with Northwest Access Fund. He will continue to serve in an advisory capacity and is confident in the organization’s future. “Having worked with Emerson for four years, I know what a great job he’ll do as Executive Director.”

 

About Northwest Access Fund

Northwest Access Fund (formerly Washington Access Fund) is a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) and 501(c)(3) nonprofit serving individuals with disabilities in Washington and Oregon by promoting access to assistive technology and economic opportunity.

Contact: Ellie Vainker

Save the Date!

SAVE THE DATE!

Join us for an evening of community & celebration.

November 2, 2017

5:30 pm-8:30pm

Bell Harbor Conference Center-Pier 66

Join us as we honor and acknowledge some of the individuals, businesses, and organizations who have made a significant impact on the lives of people with disabilities in our community this past year.

See past year’s award winners here: www.northwestaccessfund.org/past-award-winners